March 26, 2020
From Podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-408/
[00:00:36] Update on Quarantine Time
[00:03:21] Discussion About Lief Device and HRV
[00:09:32] Rest, Reading, Sprouting and Kettlebells Certification
[00:15:27] Talking About Families
[00:18:42] An Awesome History of Fad Diets
[00:23:41] The Sunshine Diet
[00:28:23] How to Upgrade Your Whey Protein
[00:33:32] Toddler Milk
[00:36:33] Veggies Hidden in Ice Cream
[00:39:53] Event Reminders and Podcast Sponsors
[00:48:21] Listener Q&A: Blood Flow Restriction Combined with Super Slow Training
[01:00:10] How to Drink Structured Water
[01:13:52] How Infrared Sauna Blankets Work
[01:22:13] Featured Review
[01:23:37] Closing the Podcast
[01:25:57] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Q&A Episode, the awesome history of fad diets, how to upgrade your protein shake, blood flow restriction training, super slow training, how Jay and I are keeping ourselves entertained during the coronavirus quarantine and much more.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Well, hello, Jay. You got cabin fever yet, my friend?
Jay: So, I have had cabin fever not just because of everything that's going on around the world, but also too, I suffered an injury and had surgery. So, this is like hitting at the worst time ever.
Ben: Well, as long as it's not cabin low-grade fever with a mild dry cough, you're probably fine.
Jay: Good call. Haven't gotten that, but cabin fever indeed.
Ben: Yeah. Actually, you know what, I had–it is Wednesday at the time that we are recording, on Saturday night, I came down with actually a dry cough and a low-grade fever that stuck with me until yesterday morning. At which point, I woke up and felt like a million bucks.
Ben: So, I actually was supposed to get my, from the folks at Wild Health MD, one of my go-to resources right now. They're doing like a daily podcast during this entire coronavirus issue, which have been really helpful. That's been like my go-to resource from really well-informed allopathic and emergency room docs who are also well-versed in functional medicine. That's been kind of my go-to podcast for keeping my finger on the pulse of the coronavirus. And I spoke with the lead doc over there and they were supposed to overnight me a test kit that was supposed to arrive yesterday, but it didn't. So, I think it's probably on my mailbox now. So, after we record, I'm getting to do a little throat swab and test myself for CV, and I suspect that I had it, which is great because I'm now immune, and I was also able to stay away from any elderly people or Asians. So, I'm pretty sure I didn't hurt anyone by the time that I suspect I had coronavirus.
Jay: Yeah. What's interesting I heard though that once symptoms have been remitted, like you will not show up positive on a test. I don't know the veracity to that report. Have you heard anything about that?
Ben: My impression is that if you're symptomatic and you test that it will give you accurate results.
Jay: Yeah, but I'm saying after you're not symptomatic. So, right now, you're not symptomatic, right?
Ben: Oh, yeah. I'm asymptomatic aside from–and folks may notice this during the episode. Occasionally, I've been erupting into a mild cough, so it's possible that there's still something in my system. So, note to self to clean this microphone with alcohol, swabs, and sunny wipes.
Ben: I'd be wearing my N99 facemask, but it'd just sound like podcasting with Darth Vader.
Jay: We wouldn't mind.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Speaking of wearing things during the podcast, so you–and I don't know if listeners heard, we'll link to it in the shownotes if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/408, which is where all the shownotes for today's show are going to reside. But you did a pretty extensive and really detailed episode on heart rate variability, on HRV. And during that episode, you talked about this device called a Lief. I listened into the episode and found it intriguing, this idea of using like real-time biofeedback to get self-quantified data, specifically on HRV.
And so, prior to recording this episode, because you connected me to the folks at Lief and they sent me over one of these devices–they're not a sponsor on today's show in case anyone's wondering. I just think this would be interesting for folks. So, I slapped it on. It's right underneath my heart right now. On my left ribcage, I'm wearing it as we are recording and I thought it might be interesting as we're going, A, if anything pops up from this app because I have it connected to my phone for you to let me know what's going on, and B, perhaps to give me a little bit of insight right now because I'm looking at the screen, at the app for this, this Lief HRV device, wearing the electrodes on my chest. It's almost like a–what do you call, like–
Ben: So, theoretically, I'm getting more accurate HRV data. But right now, it says my HRV is 15. So, I assume the smoothing algorithm that they're using is different because I'd normally be used to an HRV of 80 or 90 or 100.
Jay: Right. So, there's a couple of things that are going on. If you're looking at your HRV at 15 right now, that would be typically considered pretty low, but we have to remember a couple things. Number one, you're podcasting, you're talking. So, you might be experiencing some hyperventilation.
Ben: You stressed me out.
Jay: Maybe that, too. My crazy knowledge of HRV stresses you out, Ben. I think that's what it is. But what you're seeing actually is, yes, something that's been smoothed out, we're utilizing the RMSSD type of measurement. So, if you don't know what that is, go through my podcast. I explained it in detail, which might be different than some of the other things that you're measuring. But when you measure something like a resting HRV, you're going to see that being a lot higher than when you're actively engaged in exercise or if you're talking right now. So, yeah, 15 would be considered pretty low if you had that at an overnight type measurement, but in the moment when you're doing what you're doing right now, that's probably pretty normal.
Ben: Okay. So, how would the–let's say I wanted to get my HRV up, will this automatically begin this biofeedback protocol that it does if my HRV is like–what should I do right now if I'm looking at this and I'm thinking, “Okay, that HRV is low or lower than it should be”? Or will this thing automatically detect that it's lower than it should be and do what it's supposed to do?
Jay: Right. Since it's the first time that you've ever put it on, it hasn't established what your baseline is. So, it needs a little bit of time to do that. I have to ask the people at Lief how long it takes to establish that baseline, but it's not very long. And what will end up happening is that look at your baseline and then after it has been calculated, then as you go throughout your day, once you fall a certain standard deviation range, I believe it's two standard deviations, or maybe even one standard deviation below what you normally have as your baseline, then it will kick on and start like a breathing type protocol. They call it a dose.
And basically, you'll receive haptic feedback, so it will start to vibrate on you. So, you'll feel it. And you don't even have to be looking at your app. Your app doesn't need to be–your phone doesn't need to be next to you, but you'll still just start to feel it vibrate. And basically, what the vibrations are inhales and exhales, how you should time them. So, once you start feeling it vibrate, you inhale. And once you stop feeling it vibrate, you exhale. And so, you can do that manually as a dose or it will just automatically happen once you fall under that threshold.
Ben: Okay. So, I don't have to look at the app. Once I feel it vibrating, which it should theoretically do when my HRV drops, I just start to breathe and queue to the vibrations, and that will teach me at certain points during the day, even if I'm stressed out and don't know it, to breathe myself into a lower state of stress and increased HRV just following the vibration of the actual app that I'm wearing on my chest?
Jay: Right. You got it. And once you get back up to your baseline threshold, or wherever you set it. So, when I coach people, I'll set it a little bit higher than baseline just so they can really get into that parasympathetic state because once it drops and starts dosing on itself, it's vibrating on itself, then that means your HRV has dropped pretty dang low. You can kind of adjust it and set it, but yeah, that's basically it, and it will shut off as soon as you get to that baseline, which is a really great feature. I've never seen anything in HRV technology like this.
Ben: Okay. Cool. Well, just so I can just keep this on all day and play around with it and just pay attention when it's vibrating?
Jay: Yeah, absolutely. The problem though is if you have it go off like, let's say while we're talking, if you're talking still and you're still breathing at a more rapid rate than you would normally be i.e. talking, then it's going to be really hard to pace yourself with that breathing and keep up your podcasting, but you could give it a try.
Ben: I'll just have an awkward silence and let you fill in the gaps then if it starts to go. So, if people hear me automatically or instantly shut up, that means I'm getting this vibration in my chest. I'm just taking care of myself, people, just taking care of myself.
Jay: I'll lead us all in a Kumbaya.
Ben: Yeah. And I'll put a link to this device over in the shownotes if people want to check it out. I think we have a link for them somewhere. I don't know if we have a discount code, but I'm obviously–you endorse it. I'm not personally endorsing it until I get a chance to try it out a little bit, but I'll put a link in the shownotes for it nonetheless in case people want to mess around while they're stuck on quarantine with a self-biofeedback. So, are you doing anything else interesting while you're stuck at home?
Jay: You know, I'm doing a lot of resting because if people didn't know, which they may not, I had a meniscal repair surgery on my lateral meniscus. I had a bucket handle tear. So, I've been just rehabbing this thing. So, doing a lot of just lightweight exercises, a lot of physical therapy related exercises, and that keeps me busy. Other than that, I'm doing a lot of reading actually, which is great because it's something that I can neglect at times. But yeah, a little bit of reading. How about you, man?
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. I started a really interesting book related to something that we're doing quite a bit of here at the Greenfield house. We just decided to start all of our gardening right away. So, we've been outside planting in the vegetable beds and starting to prep the garden. But I'm reading this book that our carnivore friend, Paul Saladino, he would probably just flip out and have a cardiovascular incident reading this book. But it's called “The Sprout Book,” and it's all about how to unlock the nutrients from seeds using their ability, of course, to be able to gather energy from sunlight and unlock a lot of nutrients and deactivate a lot of the lectins and built-in plant defense mechanisms when seeds of any variety get sprouted.
I find this interesting for multiple reasons. A, in a situation in which many of us are in right now, trying to get our hands on the massive amounts of packaged foods and toilet paper that might still be available at Costco or Safeway or wherever else we happen to be shopping, I think we might neglect to take account of the fact that these little seeds that are dirt cheap that I doubt are sold out anywhere, if you sprout them, it's amazing nutrition. I mean, even if you can't get your hands on, admittedly, yes, organ meats and meat, in general, is probably about the most nutrient, vitamin, and mineral-rich stuff that you can get your hands on.
But this idea of just like bored at home, you got a bunch of glass mason jars or whatever, you can get your hands on seeds very easily and sprout a ton of stuff even if you don't have the ability to garden right now or you don't have the ability to wait until your garden is ready. So, I decided that this week, I'm just going to start a whole bunch of sprouts because it's also a National Plant-A-Seed Day tomorrow at the time that we're recording. So, Kion, my supplements company, they're supporting this Plant-A-Seed Day initiative. And on a recent order that I got from them, they just sent me up a ton of seed. So, I think I've got broccoli. I believe I have some watermelon seeds, tomato seeds, and any of these can be sprouted.
As a matter of fact, this book I'm reading, I'll link to in the shownotes if people want to buy it, it's just called “The Sprout Book,” pretty easy to remember, brand new book on sprouting. It even gets into how-to, and these take longer to sprout but you can do it, how to sprout avocado seeds, how to sprout coconuts, like you can sprout just about anything. So, I decided I'm going to use some of my time in isolation to become a sprouting ninja. And I'm just going to sprout probably five or six different varietals. And at the same time, of course, I would encourage anybody because again, I doubt people are right now exhausting our seed supply, get your hands on like some good organic heirloom seeds, not only plant some seeds if you hear this in time on the 19th, on March 19th so that you can begin to not only contribute to the health of the planet Earth but also maybe consider taking a few of those seeds that you're planting and learn how to sprout. So, that's one thing that me and my boys and my wife are doing is we're planting, and we're also sprouting seeds–
Jay: That's cool.
Ben: –which is great. Yeah. And then in addition to sprouting and gardening, I decided to use the opportunity of being stuck at home to pass my Russian kettlebell certification snatch test.
Jay: I saw you post something about that. I had no clue kind of really what that certification look like. So, please do tell.
Ben: Yeah. So, you're supposed to be able to do 100. For my weight, 24-kilogram kettlebell snatches in five minutes. So, I was supposed to travel to Austin for the whole two days cert, but they let me kind of like video in my certification. So, I had to show me weighing the kettlebell and me doing the different moves. I actually wound up doing 115, both of my hands were bleeding by the end, 115 kettlebell snatches in five minutes. And so, I did that and was a little bit sore afterwards.
Jay: I bet.
Ben: So, I spent some time passing my snatch test. And now, by the way, for anybody listening in, because I'm a creature who needs like a physical challenge on the calendar to keep me–I won't just work out for the sake of being healthy. I'm kind of a slacker or for like the esoteric idea of living a longer time, like I have to have something on the calendar that I need to crush. So, I need a new goal now. So, if anybody has an idea, I was thinking about just doing the Russian kettlebell certification two, now that I've got the Russian kettlebell certification one. But if anybody has any idea for any crazy new things for me to train for, put it in the shownotes and I'll think about what I want to start into next.
Jay: And I love that you're referring to yourself as a slacker because when I think of slacker, I think of Ben Greenfield.
Ben: Well, I actually do, if I don't have motivation or a reason to work out, I typically don't. So, like yesterday after I'd passed the snatch test two days ago, I basically just walked and sat in the sauna–
Jay: And ate Twinkies.
Ben: Yeah. I won't go to the pain cave unless I have a reason to. So, anyways, you got to create a new goal. And then, we're just spending a lot of time as a family playing music, playing family games, cooking together, just hanging out, and trying to drive each other crazy.
Jay: Yeah. That's great, man. I've been doing the same thing because we have a two-year-old. Our son, Regan, is two. And then I don't know if you even knew this, Ben, because we didn't just blast this out there, but we actually have another son on the way that'll be here in three weeks at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak. So, we have been taking it easy as a family, and it'll be interesting to see what happens with the whole hospital saying everything as we have this newborn.
Ben: Yeah. I was going to say, are you guys keeping your eyes on like home birth options or staying away from the hospital?
Jay: Yeah, we have. My wife has actually been open to that. She comes from a large family. She's one of six and they all were home birthed. We didn't do that with our son, or two-year-old son, but we've been highly considering this now. Even the hospital we're going to does not have an emergency department, which is great. There's still a lot of people in a hospital setting, so absolutely something we're looking into.
Ben: Yeah. Well, what my wife and I did when we did a home birth was we got one of those giant turtle pools with a little slide in it and did that water birth thing. So, you just need to go buy a little above ground pool and you'll be fine. Trust me.
Jay: You'll be good.
Ben: It's easy. It's so easy. Anyways though, as I close —
Jay: When you say that, all the women just tuned out.
Ben: Yeah. Ladies, it's simple. You just hop in the pool, you push. It's kind of like taking a poo, but just like a little bit longer. The end result is hopefully slightly larger than a turd. But yeah, it's that simple. Just get a pool, push, you're good to go. Well, let's hop into today's newsflashes.
Alright, the first thing is, I should just mention this briefly, I've got an online Google Doc in which I'm kind of keeping track of a few little coronavirus' Q&A tips, little webinars that I've been doing for free here and there that people have been showing up to and asking questions. And so, if anybody wants to jump in on that, I get into everything from nebulizing glutathione and N-acetylcysteine and colloidal silver, something I've been doing every day to the use of things like colostrum for antiviral activity to a bunch of things that I think are prudent for immune system support anyways. I'm not a doctor. I don't want any of it to be misconstrued as medical advice. I still think that the CDC's website is the go-to along with that Wild Health Podcast, which is run by all certified medical docs. Use those as resources, but BenGreenfieldFitness.com/virusqa. I just have like a thread going, like a Google Doc that people can resource if they would like.
So, anyways, we'll link to that in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/408. But one of the first things I thought was fun that came across my radar this week because some of the stuff we talked about here are studies and other things are just interesting articles, did you see this post on the history of fad diets?
Jay: I have now looked at it, yeah. I looked at it yesterday when I was looking at what we were doing for today and that was quite interesting.
Ben: Yeah. Well, it's interesting too because–I've said this many times that the dirty secret in the nutrition industry is if you want to make a lot of money fast, write a diet book and then tell everyone that that diet is God's truth and the diet that every human being should follow, and you're going to make a lot of money even though we all know based on biochemical individuality that not every diet is going to work for everybody. I think that painting with a very broad brush I find the large majority of people do pretty well on some semblance of a lower carbohydrate, lower inflammation Mediterranean-esque diet that incorporates fasting, eating with people, eating in a pair of sympathetically driven state, working in a lot of hormetic enhancing plants and herbs and spices, et cetera.
That type of approach seems to work well for a lot of people. But that being said, we live in an era where self-quantification and the ability to be able to look into everything from your ancestry, to your blood work, to your gut status, to your immune status, should equip you to be able to choose a diet that's pretty personalized for you. That being said, fad diets have always been popular, and this brief history of ridiculous fad diets is just an amazing article that if people are stuck at home will not take long to read. But a few of the interesting ones that I thought were cool, there was the Sleeping Beauty diet. Have you heard of the Sleeping Beauty diet, Jay?
Jay: Not until I read this article now.
Ben: Okay. So, the Sleeping Beauty diet basically involves being voluntarily sedated for several days in order to promote weight loss. So, you would literally use–and they actually don't list what is being used as a sedative. I would assume it's not THC because that's one of the things that would give one the munchies and probably fly in the face of weight loss, but —
Ben: –yeah, you could basically–yeah. Actually, ketamine, having undergone several ketamine sessions myself, your appetite completely disappears if you're using ketamine. Actually, the same could be said for journeying with psilocybin or as anyone who's done ayahuasca knows. So, perhaps, yeah, just use plant medicine at a high enough dose to sedate you, and that would be one option. So, there's the Sleeping Beauty diet.
Jay: Are you going to write a book about this?
Ben: I could. There's the Reach for a Lucky Diet. This one was popular in the '20s, the Reach for a Lucky Diet, Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet, or light a lucky and you'll never miss sweets that make you fat. And this of course is related to the Lucky cigarette campaign. And I actually think there's something to this diet because nicotine can act as a mild appetite suppressant. I've actually recommended to some people going for longer fasts or intermittent fasting chomp on a little bit of a natural nicotine gum like Lucy gum or wear a little nicotine patch and it can actually suppress the appetite, or you could reach for a Lucky, which was a popular diet back in the '20s. There was a whole poster that you can see on the article that to keep a slender figure, you can reach for a sweet little Lucky.
Jay: So, a two for two. Ben's for it.
Ben: Yeah. There's the tapeworm diet where people would voluntarily ingest tapeworms, this was also in the 1900s, in order to decrease nutrient absorption from food and to promote the vomiting and diarrhea that would assist with “healthy” weight loss. So, tapeworms, tapeworms would be another option. And then in addition to the cabbage and urine diet, the Dr. Jarvis alkaline diet, the injections of human chorionic gonadotropin, which actually people are still doing as a weight-loss tactic. One other that I thought was interesting was the arsenic diet, and this was in the Victorian era in the late 1800s in which you would take arsenic pills and small amounts of arsenic as a poisoning device to help, as they said in the Victorian era, speed up the metabolism.
Jay: Microwave [00:23:07] ____ arsenic.
Ben: Yeah. So, anyways, the article has this awesome kind of like timeline in history of fad diets, and I thought it was pretty funny and it might be interesting for people to have a little extra reading material if you want to educate yourself on the history of fad diets. I actually do think it would be a great idea for someone to write a book on the history of ridiculous fad diets.
Jay: I should, I should. Even though people might just start taking that advice and thinking, “Oh, man. Maybe we should be drinking people who eat cabbage as urine.”
Ben: Yes, yeah. But to get more serious here and get into actual science because that's what this podcast is all about, here's a book that I think would be interesting, “The Sunshine Diet,” because a new study just came out, and this was in rodent models, but what they found was light-sensitive proteins on fat cells that could actually detect sunlight. And it turns out that exposure to natural sunlight or lack of exposure to natural light actually alters how fat cells behave. So, we know in the past that mammals–or from studies in the past that mammals have many photoreceptors spread around their body, including the skin, the testicles, which I've joked in the past are just little eyes covered in photoreceptors.
But we're finding now these opsins in blood vessels and vasculature and also in fat cells. And it turns out that this one that they found in fat cells recently called opsin 3. It is on these adipocytes and a specific wavelength of blue light about 480 nanometers of blue light, which you get from sunlight or you could get from a lot of these blue light producing devices that are used for seasonal affective disorder. They actually stimulate this Opn 3. And when you stimulate Opn 3, you can actually cause something very similar to what you get from like cold thermogenesis. So, you get a conversion of metabolically inactive or relatively metabolically inactive white fat into brown fat, but they also found that when they knocked out this gene, the animals would expend less energy, carry higher levels of fat and have a suppressed metabolism.
So, it turns out that the long story short is we have photoreceptors spread across our skin, including these opsin receptors and adipocytes, and they respond to sunlight, and specifically the blue light wavelengths from sunlight, which you could get from other device. I suppose you could just open your refrigerator with your clothes off and get the same effect, but it actually induces an upregulation in metabolism. So, it turns out that sunlight actually can act as a little bit of a weight loss aid.
And I actually have a whole article I wrote on my website and a variant of that information in “Boundless” about how sunlight can be used to enhance metabolism. And when you pair that with the fact that I think one of the most potent molecules in the human body for a variety of health effects, kind of like I consider magnesium as a mineral because it's involved in over 300 different enzymatic reactions to be an amazing mineral to keep topped off in your body, I think that keeping nitric oxide levels topped off for everything from sexual performance to lowering a blood pressure to an enhancement of cell signaling molecules and immunity. I think that the nitric oxide release and exposure to sunlight is absolutely amazing, but it turns out now that the metabolic response to sunlight is pretty profound as well. So, if anything, if you're not already getting out in the sunlight on a daily basis, you should be. And now it turns out that it can even combat metabolic syndrome. So, there you go, “The Sunshine Diet.”
Jay: Yeah. And I think it's really interesting that you've highlighted that. It's 480 nanometers where they found like this simulates the opsin 3 in the fat cells, which is obviously blue light, as you mentioned. And I think one of the things to keep in mind is so many people have just become like petrified of blue light, and I get it. Yes, we don't want to have excess non-native blue light sitting in front of our computer screens, and our tablets, and TVs, or whatever, but like we actually do need some blue light. And so, I hope that hammers it into people's head that we don't want to just isolate ourselves to being in nothing but a red and infrared lit room. We need to go out and actually get some full-spectrum sunlight that includes blue light.
Ben: Yeah. And if you're bathed in blue light at your office during the day, there's some argument to be made for actually investing in some of these so-called photobiomodulation panels that produce near-infrared red, and in some cases, far-infrared light because then you're inducing artificially a more natural spectrum of light. So, if you're stuck under blue lights in your office, then you throw red lights in the mix and you're getting a more full spectrum of what you could be getting from sunlight. So, I'll say you throw some red light into the mix and you're good to go.
So, that was one interesting thing that came across my radar. And then another one actually caused me to take back something that I have always said in the past, and that is this idea that for a really good maximization of protein synthesis and anabolic effect in response to the intake of amino acids that if you're going to use essential amino acids as a supplement, which I'm a huge fan of, and also creatine as a supplement, which I'm also a big fan of. And as a matter of fact, we just launched a brand new really, really good creatine at Kion.
Jay: I saw that.
Ben: Yeah, using Creapure, which is the purest form of creatine monohydrate you can get. But what I've always said about essential amino acids is that those should be taken on an empty stomach if the goal is maximal protein synthesis. But new research that just came out in which they blended essential amino acids and creatine with a protein powder, in this case, a whey protein powder, found that even at doses as low as five grams of the essential amino acids, that there was a distinctly greater anabolic response to the use of a protein supplement when you mixed essential amino acids into the actual supplement.
The creatine seemed to have a little bit of an effect as well, but it was the essential amino acids that seemed to be most profound in terms of contributing to maximal protein synthesis. So, it turns out that if you're using essential amino acids, whereas, in the past, I've always said that they should best be taken, and the reasoning for this was based on the balance, on the ratio of the essential amino acids that they should be taken in isolation. It turns out that they can actually be very beneficial when combined with whey protein, especially if you throw creatine into the mix. They weren't even using much creatine, by the way. They were only using about half a gram of creatine in this study. But nonetheless, they found a pretty profound effect.
So, it turns out that a very simple easy way to upgrade a protein shake would be to add as little as five grams of essential amino acids and then a little bit of creatine. And it turns out that you could take any whey protein and make it a lot better for anabolism and muscle protein synthesis. So, this was a study done at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and granted kind of a small study group, but it turned my head nonetheless because it turns out that essential amino acids, even if you don't take them on an empty stomach, can still have a really good anabolic effect if you mix them with, in this case, whey protein.
I should throw in the fact that if you're plant-based or if, like me, whey protein doesn't agree with you because I get like gas and bloating when I have whey protein, it turns out, and this is something I think we reported on last year that if you decide to go with a plant protein like hemp or pea or rice, if you mix digestive enzymes in with the plant protein, the bioavailability of the amino acids in the protein powder gets elevated to the same as you would get with an animal protein, or whey protein, or egg protein. So, you can literally take a digestive enzyme supplement, and there are tons out there, and then throw a little creatine, little amino acids into a plant-based protein powder and you've essentially got very close to what you'd be getting if you were to have a ribeye.
Jay: Yeah. Interesting. And they were looking at this for muscle building, right, and strength. Do you think the same is going to apply for endurance athletes?
Ben: I have no clue.
Ben: I mean, with endurance athletes, you're more looking at the exhaustion of the available ATP pool, and also, the breakdown of skeletal muscle to free up amino acids for the amino acid pool, which can result in that muscle loss gaunt lean marathoner look. So, I think that's more of the argument for using amino acids for endurance would be to actually stave off muscle loss or decrease soreness after something like an intense run or a long bike ride. But then regarding creatine, it's interesting because I just wrote an article on creatine at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
And the number of research studies on creatine for enhancement of endurance in addition to heart health and testosterone and some of the other things we know creatine is good for, a lot of people think creatine is just for strength or power or muscle building, but it turns out it almost has like this glycogen sparing effect. So, it just allows you to go for a longer period of time and there's some good studies for increased time to exhaustion with creatine use. I've always been a huge fan, or for a long time been a huge fan of amino acids and creatine, and this study is yet another nail in the coffin so to speak, and it also changes my stance on the fact that I've said in the past essential amino acid should be taken on an empty stomach. It turns out you could take them with food and specifically with protein and they can actually enhance the muscle-building effects of any protein that you take them with.
Ben: There you have it. Speaking of protein, there is a new milk that's out, a brand new milk that got developed, and this was pretty interesting. It's called toddler milk. It's the fastest-growing category of breast milk substitutes. So, what they've done with this brand new toddler milk that they're saying is going to nourish healthy brain growth because it has DHA in it is they've created a milk, it could cost about four times as much as cow's milk, and it is powdered milk, corn syrup, vegetable oil, and some additional vitamins and nutrients that they've thrown in to assist with the building of a young toddler's brain. So, what do you think?
Jay: I think my son's ready for this. He's going to be so excited.
Ben: I think you need to stock up on this for the new baby.
Jay: I will.
Ben: toddler milk. toddler milk, folks. If you see this come across your radar, then check it out and then run in the other direction as quickly as you can because again, when a company comes out with something and markets it as being kind of like Soylent–no, I don't want to make the folks at Soylent angry. I actually had dinner with the guy who invented that stuff a couple of months ago. He's a very nice guy, very smart. But anytime you see a packaged formula promising to give you everything that real food gave you, raise an eyebrow. And in this case, if you happen to have Toddlers Milk recommended to you or your child, run the other direction as fast as you can. This stuff is basically, yeah, powdered milk, corn syrup, and a vegetable oil with some vitamins thrown in.
Ben: So, stay away.
Jay: Let's talk about gut health issues for toddlers, my god.
Ben: Mm-hmm, yeah, yeah. And they came out with this because apparently, baby formula sales are slumping. So, companies have turned to supplements for three-year-olds. And in this case, it's toddler milk.
Jay: Just because people are moving more towards actual usage of breast milk or they're just drinking regular cow's milk?
Ben: I suppose. I don't know.
Jay: I would guess, yeah.
Ben: There's just a market. And on the other side, I mean, like, I just invested in a company called Serenity, Serenity Baby Foods, and it's basically like salmon, grass-fed beef, organic, what else? They've got salmon, they've got beets, they've got sweet potato yam, olive oil, but essentially, all these real foods–and they're about 40% fat, almost no sugar or carbohydrates, and then a bunch of DHA and olive oil in these little packets, and it's so addictively good. I actually keep this, the Serenity Baby Foods, in my refrigerator and I use it as my steak sauce.
Ben: It's amazing. So, that's an example of a well-formulated, and granted I'm biased because I invested in the company, but I only invest in them because I saw what they were doing and wished they had existed when I was bringing up my twin boys. Yeah. That's an example of an okay packaged food, but I would stay away from toddler's milk. The other one that I would be a little bit careful with that just came out is they've launched a new ice cream called Peekaboo. Now, I haven't tried Peekaboo yet, but what they've done is they've come out with an ice cream in which they hide vegetables. So, their flavors are chocolate with hidden cauliflower, strawberry with hidden carrots, mint chocolate chunk with hidden spinach, vanilla with hidden zucchini, and my favorite, I really want to try this one, if I can get my hands on it, I will report to folks, cotton candy with hidden beats.
Ben: Yeah. And they've made the ingredients incredibly hard to be able to find in terms of what is actually in this ice cream, but I finally was able to get my hands on a label. Like, here's vanilla with hidden zucchini. It's organic cream, organic cane sugar, organic nonfat milk powder, organic eggs, organic zucchini, vanilla extract, organic inulin, and organic locust bean gum. I actually would say that if they could substitute out, or if another company wants to come up and do this the right way if they could substitute out the organic non-fat milk powder, which is essentially just bastardized milk, pasteurized [00:38:00] _____ in that isolated protein form that causes–all the immune system reactions that causes a kid to mouth breathe and be congested and affects the formation of their face, the crowding of teeth like there's so many issues with some of these immune system triggers.
But if they were to get rid of the organic nonfat milk powder and perhaps replace it with like a coconut milk or an avocado, I think this would actually be a pretty good idea, like a well done healthy ice cream in which they've hidden vegetables. I mean, it actually is kind of brilliant what Peekaboo is doing. But the only thing I would change is get rid of the immune system issue with the nonfat milk powder. It doesn't look like there's too much of the organic cane sugar in it, but maybe even consider throwing like monk fruit in instead of organic cane sugar. And then you'd have something I would actually give to my kids.
Jay: Yeah. What's the overall sugar content?
Ben: About 20 grams of carbs in a half cup of this stuff. And of course, we all know that kids are going to eat the whole pint.
Jay: They are going to, yeah.
Ben: Kids are going to eat the whole pint, so they might get 70 grams of carbs, which honestly is it still not that much. So, anyways, good idea, but if anybody wants to take this by the horns and run with that, or if anybody knows the folks at Peekaboo, I'd totally get behind this stuff if it was more like avocado or coconut-based.
Jay: Right. Just wait for like Enlightened or Rebel or whatever, the Halo Top, they might jump on this soon if it–
Ben: Yeah, yeah. This will be a good acquisition for Halo Top, right?
Ben: I think they'll actually do quite well because we all know that breast milk is essentially just basically ice cream, copious amounts of dopaminergic sugar and fat. And if you can take a kid off breast milk and just shift them straight into being addicted to Peekaboo ice cream for life, and it's got vegetables in it so you feel good about that, there you go. Oh, and one more thing before we get to today's fantastic questions–two more things, actually. You'll note that usually during the newsflashes, I announce all the different events that I was going to be at or I'd planned on being at like Paleo f(x) and the upcoming Wild Health Summit and Mindvalley University, and all these events, but they're all put on hold or questionable or up in the air right now.
So, I would say if you guys want to know which events I'm going to be at and what's still happening due to the coronavirus thing, I keep everything up to date at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar. So, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar, that's all there. In addition, this is usually the part of the show where I give you guys a ton of cool discounts from different sponsors that have come in to sponsor this episode, but we had a few snafus this week, and we actually don't know who the sponsors for today's episode are. So, I'm going to record those later on for you guys and we'll weave them into the Q&A. So, I do know that we have some great discounts for you guys, but I don't know what they are right now. So, I'll record those later on and then awkwardly put them somewhere into the Q&A episode for you. Does that sound good, Jay?
Jay: That sounds good, even though I'm disappointed because I wanted to use some.
Ben: Yeah. By the way, my HRV has gone up five points.
Jay: Oh, nice. You're settling in, man.
Ben: [00:41:10] _____ right now.
Jay: It was that beginning of the podcast jitters that you had since it's the first time I'm doing it.
Ben: You and talking about ice cream relax me.
Jay: There you go, but mainly me.
Ben: Alright. Well, as I promised, I wanted to give you guys some discounts and let you know about some cool things that our sponsors have sent over to us for this podcast episode with one of the more notable ones being this stuff that you can drink before bed to enhance your immune system and downregulate inflammation, which of course during this time that we're in right now is a great thing to be doing. This is a beverage you drink before you go to bed. It's got nine different superfoods in it for protecting your immunity and helping you to sleep deeper.
It's got different herbs and medicinal mushrooms, which have beta-glucans, which are fantastic as antimicrobials. It shields and protects your body against many pathogens, enhances deep sleep, and it is basically a blend of things like turmeric, ginger, reishi, which is an eight to one extract of reishi and just the beta-glucans in that alone are huge for your immune system. And then it's also [00:42:23] _____ with turkey tail, which also has some really good beta-glucans in it. Then they add in lemon balm, coconut, cinnamon, black pepper, and acacia fiber to make this delicious creamy superfood tea. So, it's called Gold, and it's made by our friends at Organifi. So, if you go to Organifi with an “I”, organifi.com/ben, that'll give you 20% off of this stuff. And again, it's called Organifi Gold, very easy to make. I like to heat up a little coconut milk and then put this in there and then use a latte frother to make it nice and creamy and foamy, and you, I think, will absolutely dig it.
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Matt: Hi, Ben. Matt here in London. Just a quick question regarding training. Can you combine blood flow restriction training with “Body by Science,” Dr. Doug McGuff training protocol? Love your new book Boundless, by the way. Keep up the good work. Cheers. Matt.
Ben: Jay, I don't recall. Have you done much with blood flow restriction training?
Jay: I have. Yeah, yeah. I recently got into it. Well, I'll say recently, yes, pretty recently. Maybe about six months or so ago, I started getting into it because I just wanted to take my training up to the next level. I was doing a little bit more metabolic conditioning. And so, I bought some just pretty inexpensive BFR bands off Amazon like 20, maybe 30 bucks. I'm interested in Kaatsu training, which I'm sure you're going to talk about, but yeah, done a little bit.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. As a matter of fact, the National Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, this is going to be a live podcasting. I've got that journal 10 feet behind me. So, everybody, don't go away. I'm going to grab it. Stay there, stay there. Walking.
Jay: I feel like I should be singing right now.
Ben: I'm getting the journal.
Jay: He's almost back.
Ben: I'm hoping you're keeping people entertained, Jay, as I'm doing this.
Jay: I was. I sang.
Ben: Okay. I'm back. Put my headphones in here. So, difficult to navigate through my studio. I should have planned this in advance. Okay. I can't hear anybody in here, Jay.
Jay: You are pretty damn winded.
Ben: So, I got to headphones back in. Okay. I'm back.
Jay: You sound winded, man.
Ben: Okay. It was–let's see. Blood flow restriction training. They just did–yeah, the effects of traditional and vascular restricted strength training, and they did electromyographic activity, tested strength, tested muscle thickness. And they found that as a lot of these previous studies on blood flow restriction have found that strength training has effects, but when you combine any strength training program, especially a weight training not just bodyweight training with occlusion or blood flow restriction or these so-called Kaatsu devices, which are more precisely–they're more precise in that. They usually have a handheld controller and a pneumatic device, that lighted dial in the millimeters of mercury pressure on each limb really, really precisely. And I think I just used the word precise four times.
You get a significant hypertrophic response, and also a growth hormone and a testosterone response post-workout that's really significant. And a lot of the research has been focused on looking at strength and hypertrophy gains in response to BFR training and shown it to be really, really effective. So, in traditional resistance exercise, when you load a muscle, that stretches what are called the sarcomeres, and that leads to cytoskeletal damage to the muscle matrices. And then there's an inflammatory cascade that follows up to actually build the muscle. That inflammatory cascade is why you don't want to go take a long ice bath or take a bunch of antioxidants post-workout.
But what happens is during BFR, you actually see a minimal amount of muscle damage and you don't see if you do a blood evaluation a lot of things like creatine kinase or lipid peroxides or even delayed onset muscle soreness, and yet interestingly, you see a significant satellite cell response and a significant hypertrophy response, as well as an increasing growth hormone, and not just growth hormone, but also mTOR and myostatin and IGF-1. Meaning, you get this big increase in muscle protein synthesis without the simultaneous increase in muscle damage and with a lower amount of inflammation, which is why this has become so popular as a way for like seniors who are staving out of sarcopenia to train without heavyweights, or people who are injured and can't handle a lot of weight to be able to train and still get muscle-building effects, or people who are traveling, or, relevant to where we're at right now, stuck at home and doing bodyweight workouts or lighter weight workouts to be able to simulate the effects of what heavyweight training could do without actual heavyweights.
And when you look at what's going on, essentially, you're applying a tourniquet. In the case of what you bought on Amazon, Jay, elastic bands around your arms or your legs, or if you're glutton for punishment like me and you ignore the rules about the risk for blood clotting both your arms and your legs during a training session. So, you tighten these around your limbs, not so tight that you're completely restricting flow. The rule typically is you press down on your fingernails or your toenails and you want to see blood flow return within about three seconds. But when you do that, you're essentially trapping blood and decreasing available oxygen to the actual muscle tissue and you get some amount of cell swelling, which can stimulate this anabolic effect and that growth hormone response post-workout.
Now, when you do all of this, essentially, you're getting all of those responses that I just talked about. But what this specific question that Matt asked about is could you combine this with super-slow training? Now, when you look at super-slow training, that is a form of resistance training that was originally made popular by Ken Hutchins, one of the fathers of–I don't know what you'd call Ken Hutchins, fathers of exercise?
Jay: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Ben: Yeah. So, anyways, he used these ideas from the 1940s all the way up to the 1960s where they were doing 10-10 muscle contractions, 10 seconds up, 10 seconds down. In many cases, using these fixed weight Nautilus machines. And the idea behind this is that it really doesn't come down to how many sets or how many reps that you do to stimulate a response to weight training, it comes down to the amount of time under load or time under tension. And so, you can do one single set, one super-slow set to failure. And if the muscle has had adequate time under tension, you can see a very significant strength training response.
And also, as another guy, an emergency room doc who wrote a great book on this called “Body by Science,” Dr. Doug McGuff, you actually see a really significant blood pressure and cardiovascular response as well. So, it's almost like using your strength training as a way to get cardiovascular training effects also. And when you consider the fact that you can get through a full-body super-slow training session, one single set to failure in anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, it's pretty appealing, especially if you're tight on time or if you are lifting weights more for wanting to maintain strength, not get injured, not necessarily for athletic performance, power, explosiveness, et cetera, but just to stay strong without getting injured.
Super-slow training is an incredibly effective tool and it's something I use with a lot of my clients. A lot of the executives who I train, who are not wanting to, say, go compete in CrossFit or go to a Spartan Race or something, I would require a lot more like functional explosive training. I have them doing a lot of super-slow training and a lot of BFR training. Like some weeks where I'm programming a workout, they've got a BFR training workout on Wednesday and a Saturday, super-slow training workout on a Monday, and possibly also a Friday. And so, they're spending only an hour and a half a week under load, weight training. But by using some of these more advanced methods or at least smarter training methods that reduce the risk of injury or allow them to get more bang for their buck in a shorter period of time, it's really a very cool way to train.
Jay: So, I don't want listeners to become confused by thinking that this style of exercise or strength training is easy. It's actually really friggin' hard. So, if anybody has ever tried like super-slow movements, or like going to total muscle failure, or this kind of longer time under load, this is actually really difficult. I think people that just think that, “Oh, I can work out less and it's not going to be that difficult,” but it truly is.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it takes a lot of focus to do a single set to failure. But when you look at the greater time under tension, you're getting more muscle fibers and more motor units being recruited. And again, Doug McGuff does a really good job at describing this in his excellent book, “Body by Science.” I've had him on the podcast before, too, and I'll put a link to that show if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/408/. But you also see of course the superior cardiovascular response, and he even talks in his book about the rapid depletion of glycogen from a single set to failure, which of course could help to normalize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity and stimulate greater amounts of fat loss. So, there's a lot going on with both super-slow training, as well as blood flow restriction training.
Now, when you talk about combining the two, very little research has actually been done on that. I have personally done it. And this would be like a typical hotel room workout for me, occlude the arms, occlude the legs and do a set of super-slow squats, super-slow push-ups, and then using this little suspension strap trainer that I travel with that I can just put into the door, super-slow pull-ups, right? And I'd go through like six to eight rounds of that. So, when I'm doing something like that and its body weight, it's not single set to failure because I feel like if you don't have weight machines or heavy weights or a high load, sometimes you need to do some repeat sets.
But essentially, I've done it and it seems to work surprisingly well. I can't claim that I've seen any research that actually combines. And if people have, go in the comments and let me know that combines super-slow training with BFR training. But in anybody who is tight on time, or for anybody who's tight on time, or anybody who wants to experiment with this and have what I would consider to be a soul-crushing rather painful type of workout but one that allows you to get a lot done in a short period of time, it's actually worth trying. And I've found that I'm able to maintain muscle really well without going to the gym at all and without having heavyweights when I travel by using super-slow tactics and by using blood flow restriction tactics. And I see no reason that they couldn't be combined.
So, I would proceed with caution. I'm not recommending it just because I haven't seen a lot of research behind the safety of it, but I personally have been doing something like this for about the past two years. The other way that–
Jay: Correct me if I'm wrong too, Ben. Like, if you're going to be utilizing BFR bands or Kaatsu bands, and especially if you're doing this “Body by Science” type of workout, it was super-slow workout, then my guess is is that you should not utilize as much weight if you're doing weight training as you would normally do without the BFR bands. Is that right?
Ben: You won't be able to.
Jay: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: You won't be able to with the BFR bands. So, that's kind of a moot point. So, anyways, I do have–I'm interviewing John Doolittle, who is behind the Japanese company Kaatsu in a few weeks, and I'll be doing a really comprehensive episode on BFR training. But at this point, I do recommend BFR training, I do recommend super-slow training. There's no research on the combination of both, but I have combined both effectively. And so, it's worth a try. Just proceed with caution and don't misconstrue this as medical advice. So, there you go.
Jim: Hello, Ben. Jim here from Plainville, Illinois. I have a question about structured water, whether you think it's worth the money to install or not. Buying a new house and looking to optimize my air and water [01:00:23] _____ fairly easy. I think I got it covered with the water. Just looking for any kind of a science, actual science on structured water, and I haven't found anything that's been peer-reviewed along those lines. So, give me your thoughts and whether you think it's worth or not. Thank you.
Ben: Alright, so structured water. Are you ready to jump into the realm of the woo-woo, Jay, and get laughed at by, I don't know, everybody who thinks that water is just H2O?
Jay: Exactly. I love the world of woo-woo. Let's do it.
Ben: Mm-hmm. Okay. So, we can start with talking about this idea of exclusion zone water. So, for the last few decades, water researchers have begun to be able to differentiate what's called bulk water or H2O from exclusion zone water, which can also be called structured water, energized water, revitalized water, activated water, whatever you want to call it. It's referring to what they now call the fourth stage of water, and that would be structured water. So, the common formula most people are familiar with that you learned in high school or elementary chemistry is H2O, but water can also be in the form of H3O2, it can be in the form of OH-, it can be in the form of OH2+, and literally dozens of other configurations of hydrogen and oxygen.
And when water is structured, its properties change. So, what happens is it tends to form a little bit more of a crystalline structure. Dr. Gerald Pollack, University of Washington, is perhaps one of the more well-known people who has studied this idea that water is not actually a liquid, or doesn't have to be a liquid and can actually, if it is structured, form a little bit more of a gel. So, when water molecules become structured, they can interact with charged surfaces such as those that would be presented by, say, proteins within the body.
And when that happens and, say, water adheres to the proteins of cells, you actually get, and I talked about this with Dr. Thomas Cowan in my last interview with him, some better–it's basically the sodium-potassium pump that we thought for a long time that was dispelled by the research done by Dr. Gilbert Ling, is not the way that minerals move between the extracellular and intracellular compartments, but it's instead the interaction of water and minerals in this cytosolic compartment within the actual cell. And that's because structured water does not have the same properties as simple H2O. So, the water in your cells is not like the water in a glass. It's more ordered, kind of like a crystal.
So, we can exclude particles and solutes as it forms. And as it does so, the space that's formed around the water is called an exclusion zone. So, the exclusion zone is formed when we have H3O2. So, essentially, there's just like some extra hydrogen bonding that goes on that forms a hexagonal sheet that's very similar to ice, but is instead kind of like a transitional stage between water, the liquid form of water, and ice, the solid form of water. So, it's basically a gel-like form of water. And small molecules can be excluded from structured water and it appears in great abundance including inside your cells.
And it turns out that something like a plant is rather than relying upon a heart, which a plant doesn't have to pump water up from the bottom of a plant, at the top of a plant. It's relying upon this exclusion zone to carry water up through a vessel, which is exactly what Dr. Pollack has observed in his laboratory. When structured water is placed in a small glass beaker and then exposed to, say, photons of light such as sunlight or infrared light, the water actually moves through the vessel even without actually being pumped.
And when I talked with Dr. Thomas Cowan, who wrote this book called “Why the Heart Is Not a Pump,” it turns out that the way that water is moving through a human body is very, very similar if there is adequate exposure to minerals, if there's adequate exposure to photons of light such as sunlight or near-infrared, far-infrared, and red light, this structuring occurs that allows for better movement of water throughout the body, better hydration status, and better movement of minerals and other compounds in and out of a cell.
So, I get into the science of this pretty deeply when I interviewed Dr. Pollack, and also Dr. Cowan, and I'll link to both of those interviews in the shownotes, but it turns out that you can actually purchase these filters for your home. They're not a filter as much as like–it's almost like vortices. It's a series of beads like glass beads or minerals that the water travels through that structures the water prior to it actually getting into your tap, or your shower, or your bath, or whatever. Now, I have a whole house structured water filter unit at my house, and what it is is it's a carbon block unit. So, the carbon filters out the chloramines, the chlorine, the fluoride, the lead, the glyphosate, et cetera, but then after it passes through the carbon, then it passes through a bunch of what are called zeolite minerals, which are in this porous block filter form. And what that does is it actually structures the water as it passes through these minerals that are creating almost like this vortex flow. So, when I drink the water, it's actually structured.
Now, there's been some questioning about whether or not the water stays structured when it hits, say, the acidic nature of the stomach or passes in the gastrointestinal tract. I'm not completely certain of whether or not it does, but I do know that when you're showering in that water, when you're bathing in that water, the skin actually is able to absorb structured water through the skin. I know that it allows for better taste. I mean, my dad who's in the structured water industry, he originally came out with structured water filters because he was repairing espresso machines and he was roasting organic coffee and found the flavor of the coffee was far superior when the type of filtration method used in the water was taken into consideration. And in this case, he began to use structured water and found that the flavor of coffee or tea, or anything else like that that's used or that used structured water as the extraction method, the flavor is actually far superior.
So, the idea here is that you're theoretically doing a better job hydrating the body because you're putting into it water that's already in that H3O2 configuration, but then you're also enhancing the taste of anything that you're using to extract that water with, and you're also enhancing the health through the skin of something like a shower or a bath that you might take when you're in this structured water. There's even some thought out there that the crystalline structure of water might be able to carry energy, right? So, there's this idea of creating like homeopathic remedies that rely upon structured water or the idea that–there's that questionable research from like Masaru Emoto that says if you pray over water or you have positive emotions over water that it creates a more natural crystalline state. So, you're drinking less, say, chaotic water.
I can't say I've seen a lot of really compelling research behind any of that, but I do know that it changes the flavor of things like coffees and teas. I feel better just anecdotally when I drink the water. You definitely get softer healthier skin when you're doing things like baths or showers in the structured water. And I'm definitely not opposed to the use of a whole house structured water filter. And I will link in the shownotes to some interesting studies that look into how plants actually use structured water, and also some research that my dad's been involved in that show, especially in livestock, healthier livestock because he supplies structure water to farms, better growth of cattle, better health of plants, et cetera, in response to structured water versus just normal filtered water.
So, it's appearing to do something, and there's also a host of research that Dr. Pollack has done, and I'll link to a half dozen or so research studies that show that this spine of hydration they call it that this water forms are on things like DNA in the human body. And the exclusion zone near the hydrophilic surface as it travels through blood vasculature may have some pretty profound health effects. So, I'm not one of those guys who says that hands down structured water is going to improve health, but I've seen enough anecdotal evidence and the fact that it's not harmful for you. If you can afford it, I would say a whole house structured water filter where it passes through like a carbon block and then passes in through this structured water vortices, I don't think it's a bad idea.
Jay: Yeah. And I get kind of the whole home idea for showering and bathing. I think then washing hands or whatever it may be, washing dishes or whatever it may be. But I know like when you had Luke Storey on, he said that one of the things that he does, and he showed in the video that you had, is that he uses like a Joovv light to structure the water. He'll just put those big jugs of water that he gets, that spring water, and he'll utilize that light for drinking, I guess or bathing, whatever you decide to use it for. Do you think that there's going to be any difference in the level of structuring? So, if someone couldn't afford, let's say like a whole water system for their house and they could just afford their Joovv light, do you think that's a good option, too?
Ben: Yeah, but the missing component there is the mineral component. So, it's both photons and minerals that are going to structure the water. So, you could, for example, as woo-woo as this might sound, if the water actually is exposed to the frequency of minerals that would be performed at the same time as the photons of sunlight, then you're getting a true structuring of the water. So, what you would do, for example, is you would get like a large glass carboy or a Mason glass jar, you would fill that with filtered water. They could be reverse osmosis water or carbon block filtration or whatever. And then you get that out in the sunlight or under an infrared light panel or any form of infrared light and you set it on top of something like a Somavedic, or [01:11:36] _____, or near a Himalayan salt lamp, or you stir a bunch of crystalline salt into there, and then the minerals are what is going to allow for the actual structuring of the water.
So, you introduce minerals in the water, you introduce light in the water, and you get structured, what would theoretically be more alive water. And when you look at this, it's just from a pure ancestral standpoint or natural standpoint, yeah, if you find water in nature tumbling over rocks in a spring, exposed to sunlight, that water would be in about its most natural form that you could find. And I'd rather drink water that is similar to that, then water that's just been sitting in a cistern for a long period of time not moving, kind of stagnant. And again, I am not going to claim that I've seen robust scientific research on the health effects of structured water within the human body, but because it makes at least theoretical sense to me, and again, because there's not any deleterious effect to drinking water that's got minerals in it or has been exposed to minerals and it's been exposed to photons of light, I think it's at least worth experimenting with.
I mean, you can do your own self-test, test CRP, test inflammatory levels, test cytokines, you could test some endocrine function, you could test thyroid function, just see what's going on in your body if you switch to structured water for a certain period of time. And again, there could even be a placebo effect there, but it's compelling to me. And if anything, if it's going to make your coffee taste better, hey, that's enough for me right there.
Jay: Indeed sold.
Ben: Yeah. So, I'll link to a ton of different research studies, to Gerald Pollack TEDx talk, to my interview with him, his wonderful book, “The Fourth Phase of Water.” And then go listen to my interview with Dr. Thomas Cowan or read his book, “The Heart is Not a Pump.” And go listen to my interview with Gary Greenfield, my dad, on structured water. And I think you'll find a lot of compelling information on the use of a structured water filter. I have a central structured water filter in my home. I'll link to the one that I use. It's made by Greenfield Naturals, by my dad's company, and we did a whole podcast on those filters and how they work. I think it's worth looking into.
Kristina: Hey, Ben. Big fan of the show. I wanted to ask about these infrared sauna blankets I've been seeing pop around. I'm a big fan of saunas, infrared included. It takes so much time to go to a spa and it costs a lot of money and not everyone can afford having their own spa unit in their home because most of us practically live in apartments. So, I was thinking if maybe that's a low-cost great idea to substitute at least most of the sauna practice as you mostly say that you do saunas maybe four or five times a week. Thank you.
Ben: You know what's funny is obviously it's winter at the time that we're recording this or very, very early spring. And so, I've said this before I think on the show, we keep our house pretty cold. Our house is consistently like 61 to 65 degrees. And occasionally–
Jay: That's chilly.
Ben: I do get kind of chilly in the afternoon. I want to take a nap the other day, and I actually have a couple of these infrared sauna blankets. I put one up on the bed. Usually, I would lay down on this thing called a BioMat. The BioMat produces infrared light and it's got some of those minerals in it. Actually, we were talking about earlier, that's one thing people do is they'll put water on a BioMat because that's one source of minerals. What I did was I wrapped myself in one of these infrared sauna blankets. And you can bring the temperature of these things up high enough to where you sweat buckets. They can actually get really hot, but they're actually, and this is the concern for a lot of people, heating blankets produce huge amounts of non-native EMF.
Jay: [01:15:51] _____.
Ben: Yeah. These sauna blankets do not, okay?
Jay: Oh, really? That was going to be the one thing I asked you. Thanks for–
Ben: They are completely EMF free, these sauna blankets, at least the ones that are made by HigherDOSE. So, I have two of them. And what they do is they put a medical-grade magnetic strip in. And so, the static magnetic field that's inside is supposedly increasing circulation. So, you're essentially wrapped in like a giant magnet that's low EMF. And then they put activated charcoal into it, which can actually draw a little bit more sweat out of the body. So, you're getting a little bit deeper sweat effect. They add, kind of similar to the BioMat, like these tourmaline and amethyst rocks. So, you're wrapped in these minerals, which can actually radiate a little bit of extra energy, and then, of course, they're producing this infrared light.
The cool thing about them is you could throw them in your car, take them on a trip, and essentially, you have like a portable sauna on the go. And this company HigherDOSE, they've actually got a whole bunch of almost like, not clinics but like facilities in New York City where you can visit and book sessions. So, just like lay in these blankets and this very relaxing format and get the infrared. I think they also do like facials and lymphatic drainage and other detox treatments at these facilities. But these blankets are actually really, really cool. I mean, I slept like a baby when I took a nap in this thing, and my kids actually love to lie on it. The dogs, of course, love it because it's super warm, kind of like the BioMat, and you sweat buckets inside of these things. So, they actually do work. They are really hot in the past. I had put a video on YouTube of me showing you how you could take a BioMat and turn it into kind of like a DIY sauna by wrapping those Mylar insulating silver blankets around the BioMat, and that also gets really hot.
But these HigherDOSE things, they're pretty slick. You can adjust them from one all the way up to nine as far as the heat intensity. And if you bring it up to 9 within like 10 minutes, it's as hot as like a super-hot sauna that you get inside.
Ben: And you sweat. You get the detoxification effect. I would caution people, of course we know, and the same thing can be said for a sauna, anytime you're sweating out a bunch of metals or toxins or anything like that, and then you go back into the sauna and start to breathe that in, you're just reabsorbing it. Same thing with a blanket, if you don't clean the blanket really well afterwards, use like a good cleaning supply, like a Branch Basic spray and clean it off really well so that you're not laying in there and then reabsorbing the toxins through your skin on your second visit inside the blanket. Be careful with that.
But if you can't afford a big infrared sauna, or you want a portable version of a sauna, or you want to take a nap inside something, or, and I've talked about this on the show before, this idea of hyperthermia, the cytotoxicity of heat to everything from cancer cells to, case in point here, viral cells in this idea of using heat as kind of like a cytotoxic strategy, as well as inducing the formation of heat shock proteins so you get better cellular resilience, you could literally use the old school tie a dead chicken around your neck grandma technique if you're sick and just go drink a shot of whiskey and go lay in one of these sauna blankets and sweat your eyeballs out for two hours in bed. If you like to have cool little biohacks around your house, I think it's worth having one. They're not a sponsor of the show or anything like that, but I have two of the HigherDOSE infrared sauna blankets. I like them, they work. Most importantly to me, they're low EMF. So, unlike a normal heat blanket, you're not blasting yourself with EMF. I think they're worth looking into.
Jay: Yeah. It looks pretty cool. I'm on the website right now and they look almost like you're a mummy laying in this wrapped-around bedsheet. And it says on their website that Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga use these. So, there you go.
Ben: That's good enough for me right there. If I can be the next Lady Gaga by laying in a blanket every day, I'm in. And actually, just this morning, one of my clients sent me an article about hot baths and how hot baths can increase calorie burn by like 500 to 600 calories per hour. As a matter of fact, I questioned whether people would stop exercising after they read this article because the title of it was “A Hot Bath Has Benefits Similar to Exercise” and it gets into this idea of passive heating and how–not only do you see a big drop, you see an initial increase in peak blood sugar, but then you see a drop in blood sugar later on. You see an anti-inflammatory response, but then what this study showed was the hour-long soak and a hot bath gave the same calorie burn equivalent as an hour of pretty moderate cycling.
Ben: You could also use this as a way to exercise without exercising. Actually, we know a sauna will increase red blood cell production straight from maintaining muscle when you can't bear load. But yeah, these sauna blankets could be a good way to stay fit, too. As a matter of fact, I'll link to this new article that just came out this morning in the shownotes, but it's called “A Hot Bath Has Benefits Similar to Exercise,” which I would hate for people to stop actually exercising because again, you get a lot more effects from exercise beyond just the movement of blood flow and the heat shock proteins and stuff, but it's interesting nonetheless. So, I think the variety of benefits that can be derived from heat. And if you don't have a sauna or the ability to get really hot, but one of these sauna blankets allows you to do it, I think it's worth having. And then if anything, if you got one, I don't know, in the back of your car and you don't want to pull over during a really cold road trip and just do a song on a session, you could. Just figure out how to shower afterwards.
I think that just about covers all of our questions. We're going to put all the resources over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/408, everything that we talked about. But do we have a review? Because we like to give —
Jay: We do.
Ben: –stuff away if people leave a review. So, here's the deal. If you hear us read your review, so if you go and leave a review in Apple podcast and we read it on the show and you hear your review read, all you need to do is email [email protected]. And if you email [email protected] with your review and you let us know your t-shirt size, we're going to send you an awesome gear pack with a Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie and a–what else do you get? A BPA-free water bottle, a cool tech shirt for exercise. So, Jay, you want to take it away and read this week's review?
Jay: Let's do it. So, this came from mk-kansas. So, it's probably someone who, because they closed all the schools for the rest of the year in Kansas, probably decided, “Let me just write this review,” and they called it “The Best Health and Fitness Podcast.” mk-kansas says, “One of the best health and fitness podcast around. I respect Ben Greenfield for his courage and wisdom for speaking out on the tough issues and helping to destroy the myths around health and fitness. All that courage, Ben.”
Ben: That's it. I'm the myth destroyer.
Ben: We're the myth creator.
Jay: [01:23:29] _____ destroy those myths.
Ben: All this talk about structured water and infrared sauna blankets. We get a little woo-woo there.
Ben: Hopefully, we destroyed a few myths as well. So, everything though from vegetable-infused ice cream to the sauna blankets, to the research on structured water, to BFR bands, we'll put all that in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/408. Remember to jump into the comments section if you have everything from ideas for my next exercise challenge now that I'm done with the Russian kettlebell certification to ways that you are staying entertained at home during this coronavirus quarantine, to different seeds that you found to sprout, to whether you read that book I mentioned, “The Sprout Book,” anything else, it's all going to be at the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/408.
Jay, my HRV is all the way up to 28.
Ben: My heart rate has dropped 10 beats per minute. This thing hasn't started like vibrating on me yet, but I'm just going to leave it on all day and see what happens.
Jay: Yeah. Leave it on. Go ahead and do this for me. Tap it right in the middle. Just tap the device and tell me if you feel anything.
Ben: Right now?
Jay: Yeah, yeah. Do it.
Ben: Okay. Right in the middle.
Jay: Okay. Is it vibrating?
Ben: Now it is.
Ben: And then my phone just popped up and says, “Inhale and hold.”
Jay: Yeah. Inhale and hold. And then whenever it says release, we will start to feel vibrate. When it vibrates, that's your exhale. And so, you just gave–
Ben: Oh, cool. Inhale, hold.
Jay: Yes. You just gave yourself a dose, which is going to help you after a period of time modulate your HRV and get it raised up. So, it may take a few minutes, so I don't know how long you can sit down here with your HRV to go up.
Ben: I'm very stressed up to talk. Oh, it just went up two points. I'm so stressed talking to you, but I'll mess around with this. I'll keep you posted. So, it's called the Lief. Was it L-E-I-F or L-I-E-F?
Jay: L-I-E-F, yeah, getlief.com.
Ben: L-I-E-F. Okay.
Jay: Yeah. And just so listeners know too, like the discount that they're giving you, I think it's 20% right off the bat. So, it's like $299 minus 20%, that'd be what, like $250? So, that's actually an incredible price for them. So, if you want to get one, get it.
Ben: I remember the discount code is, if I can get it from them and put it in the shownotes.
Jay: Yeah. I think it's GREENFIELD.
Ben: Alright, cool. Awesome. Alright, Jay. Well, stay safe out there and go find some shit to sprout.
Jay: Will do.
Ben: Not actual shit. I don't think it sprouts, but it might.
Jay: Yeah. I can try.
Ben: [01:25:53] _____ smoothies.
Jay: That's it.
Ben: Alright, later, man.
Jay: See yah.
Ben: Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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Blood Flow Restriction Combined With Super Slow Training…41:23
Matt asks: Can you combine blood flow restriction training with the Body by Science training protocol by Dr. Doug McGuff?
In my response, I recommend:
How To Drink Structured Water…53:10
Jim asks: I want to upgrade my air and water environment while I remodel my home and am wondering if you think it's worth the money to install a structured water filter. Do you have any resources on structured water by way of peer-reviewed articles?
In my response, I recommend:
How Infrared Sauna Blankets Work…1:06:52
Kristina asks: I'm curious about these infrared sauna blankets I've seen. I'm a big fan of infrared sauna but finding a spa and getting the treatment I need is very time consuming, not to mention expensive. I thought perhaps one of these infrared sauna blankets might give some of the benefits of sauna therapy without having to invest in an actual sauna? What are your thoughts?
In my response, I recommend: